By MIKE HUGHES
Special to The Hays Daily News
HAYS, KS (September 15)--The regular season came to a close at RPM Speedway in Hays, KS, on Saturday evening, September 15. Track champions were crowned in the regular five divisions, with two championships still up for grabs as the evening began.
In the Rebel Tank Service IMCA Hobby Stock class, Topeka's Brian Stich held a slim 3 point advantage over hometown driver Cody 'Bam Bam' Graham. Aaron Gray led the 18-car field to green in the 15-lap feature, but was passed by 'Downtown' Daniel Irwin on lap 3. Irwin continued to lead until the final lap when G.W. 'Cheeseburger' Fuller of Tescott made the winning pass to score his 4th win of the season at Hays. Irwin held off Gray for the runner-up spot, with T.C. McKain and Austin Tammen completing the top five. Stich finished 8th, but it was good enough to claim the championship. Heat race winners were Gray and 'Neon' Leon Pfannenstiel.
In the Steel Fabrications IMCA Sport Compact class, Monte Honas led Shyla Hughes by 8 points at the start of the night. Heat two winner Kiowa Higdon took the early lead but Zach Olmstead of Overton, NE, made his way from 10th to first by the halfway mark of the 12-lap feature and drove away for the victory. Art Herzog finished second, followed by Hughes, Allen Rice and Vincent Jasper. Heat one victor Honas finished sixth, good enough to claim the crown.
Osborne's Shaylon Holloway scored his first win at Hays this season in the Advantage Glass Plus IMCA Stock Car feature. Holloway passed leader Bob Rutherford on lap 9 in the 20-lap race and held on to win in a close battle with Josh 'The Hammer' Hudson, Jason Rogers, 'The Spiderman' Nick Tubbs and Adam Balthazor. Balthazor and Austin Carter were heat race winners. Tubbs won the track championship.
Oberlin's David Murray Jr. basically had the track championship locked up before the night began, but he put an exclamation point on his season at Hays by winning his 6th Teels Trucks IMCA Modified feature. The 20-lap event got off to a rough start as 6 cars tangled in turn 4 on the opening lap. After the restart, Kyle Rohleder jumped from his pole starting spot to the lead. But as the field came to the halfway mark, Brian Calhoon got under Rohleder in turn 4 to assume command. Calhoon continued to lead until the lone caution waved on lap 19 when Cody Gearhart went off turn 1, setting up a green-white-checkered finish. Calhoon led the field back to green, but runner-up Murray shot around Calhoon to lead the final two laps for the win. David Solberg finished third, followed by 'Dynamite' Dylan Sherfick and Troy Plummer. Murray and Calhoon won the two heat races.
Beloit's Jake Krone could have been a no-show in the Golden Plains Trucking IMCA Sport Mod division and still have won the track championship. But Krone made an appearance, getting a third place finish in the 15-lap feature. Cory McGann led the first 7 laps before a caution waved. When the green flag replaced the yellow, Colby's Dustin Daniels drove past heat one winner McGann to make his way to victory lane. McGann held on to the runner-up spot, trailed by Krone, Cory Struckhoff and Blaine Walt. Joe Couse won the other heat race.
Hays Chevrolet was the evening's race sponsor.
It was also 'Big Brothers/Big Sisters Night' with several folks in the area raising money for the chapters in their respective counties. Over $25,000 was raised for Big Brothers/Big Sisters with Dr. Elizabeth Ashworth raising the most individually with $5,020. Dr. Tom Halligan claimed the checkers in the feature race for those participants.
The season will conclude with the 6th annual Fall Nationals October 11-13. The sport compacts will run a full show on Thursday, October 11, starting at 7:00 p.m., while the other four divisions will test & tune that night. Then on Friday, October 12, the green flag will fly at 7:00 p.m. with heat races and qualifiers for the modifieds, stock cars, northern sport mods and hobby stocks. Those same four divisions will return on Saturday night, October 13, with last chance races and features in their respective divisions. The races on Saturday will start at 6:00 p.m.
IMCA Sport Compacts
Heat 1: 1. Monte Honas, 2. Art Herzog, 3. Kirk Pfannenstiel, 4. Justin Rohr.
Heat 2: 1. Kiowa Higdon, 2. Zach Olmstead, 3. Allen Rice, 4. Vincent Jasper.
Feature: 1. Olmstead, 2. A. Herzog, 3. Shyla Hughes, 4. Rice, 5. Jasper, 6. Honas, 7. Josh Latka, 8. Rohr, 9. Higdon, 10. Shaun Woods, 11. Tristen Barton (DNF), 12. Dean Herzog (DNF), 13. Trevor Schmidt (DNF), 14. Pfannenstiel (DNF).
IMCA Hobby Stocks
Heat 1: 1. Aaron Gray, 2. Lee Sells, 3. Garrett Hager, 4. Aaron Honas.
Heat 2: 1. Leon Pfannenstiel, 2. T.C. McKain, 3. Austin Tammen, 4. Cody Ghumm.
Feature: 1. G.W. Fuller, 2. Daniel Irwin, 3. Gray, 4. McKain, 5. A. Tammen, 6. Kent Tammen, 7. Ghumm, 8. Brian Stich, 9. Tony Slothower, 10. Mark Normandin, 11. Sells, 12. Hager, 13. Ron Wehling, 14. Michael Smith, 15. Brad McCoy, 16. Honas, 17. Pfannenstiel, 18. Cody Graham (DNF).
IMCA Northern Sport Mods
Heat 1: 1. Cory McGann, 2. Dustin Daniels, 3. Daniel Gottschalk, 4. Blaine Walt.
Heat 2: 1. Joe Couse, 2. Trenton Kleweno, 3. Clay Money, 4. Jason Nelssen.
Feature: 1. Daniels, 2. McGann, 3. Jake Krone, 4. Cory Struckhoff, 5. Gottschalk, 6. Walt, 7. Nelssen, 8. Clay Money, 9. Kenny Schmidt, 10. Andy Barton, 11. Brian Fink, 12. Joe Couse, 13. Jerrod Couse, 14. Kleweno (DNF), 15. Kaid Calhoon (DNF), 16. C.J. Pfannenstiel (DNS).
IMCA Stock Cars
Heat 1: 1. Adam Balthazor, 2. Jason Davis, 3. Jason Rogers, 4. Pat Bedore.
Heat 2: 1. Austin Carter, 2. Nick Tubbs, 3. Shaylon Holloway, 4. Josh Hudson.
Feature: 1. Holloway, 2. Hudson, 3. Rogers, 4. Tubbs, 5. Balthazor, 6. Terry Cunningham, 7. Bob Rutherford, 8. Davis, 9. Trevor Thornton, 10. Bedore, 11. Monroe Schmidt, 12. Carter (DNF), 13. Luke Pfannenstiel (DNS).
Heat 1: 1. David Murray Jr., 2. David Solberg, 3. Rodger Peck, 4. Marty Clark.
Heat 2: 1. Brian Calhoon, 2. Corey Lagroon, 3. Troy Plummer, 4. Travis Sherfick.
Feature: 1. Murray, 2. Calhoon, 3. Solberg, 4. Dylan Sherfick, 5. Plummer, 6. Jerry Teel, 7. T. Sherfick, 8. Shannon Maughlin, 9. Tad Davis, 10. Craig Colgon, 11. Peck (DNF), 12. Cody Gearhart, 13. Kyle Rohleder (DNF), 14. Lagroon (DNF), 15. Clark (DNF), 16. Rob Day (DNF), 17. Tim Watts (DNF), 18. Ronnie Hill (DNS).